More cycling

It’s been a big few weeks and I’ve not taken the time to write about what I’ve been up to.

Today thanks to my local council I participated in a free cycling session called “On-road skills for adult cyclists” I’ve posted about the community ride I did a few weeks ago done under the OPAL project.

I’ve not ridden regularly since I was a teenager and obtained my drivers license.┬áPersonally I spent a lot of time and money developing my driving skills and it makes sense to make a similar investment in cycling skills.

Today it was about knowing how to approach the road and what to do.

Again at times I thought the session was a little basic, but as I have commented before it really does pay to watch, listen, observe and learn. The sessions are really well structured and while you think “yeah I know this” or “why would the cover that” As the session develops in logical progression it becomes clear why that topic/skill is covered. It is for this reason why I have attended these sessions with my eyes wide open with a thirst for learning.

I cycled to this session via a major arterial road instead of taking backstreets deliberately. I know my on road confidence is low and I wanted to high light where my strengths and weakness were.

The course was quite literally an A – Z of on road cycling. From what to and not what to wear. How to brake, both normal and emergency breaking. For me basic lane changes, turns and navigating round-a-bouts was very helpful. I’ve always had the mantra “keep left” in the forefront of my mind and today and it was pointed out keeping left on a round-a-about is potentially setting yourself up for trouble (own the lane that your in, be predictable so those around you know what and where you are going.

Cycling on the road can be a bit daunting and if you actually spend the time to be taught by people who are warm, caring, patient people it really is worth a few hours out of your weekend.

I’m on the road every day of the week and as a responsible road user I feel that everyone that uses it should competent. This has been one of the major reasons why I’ve done these sessions.

I’ve been so impressed with how these have been run, the council and session staff have always been warm, friendly and very knowledgeable and as one participant pointed out there was never a concern about asking a “dumb question”

One thing I had demonstrated to me today was puncture repair 101. I’ve been lucky and I’ve spent the money on fairly expensive tires to hopefully head that off (there’s technology in the tire to help stop that!)

I’ve been slack when it comes to bike maintenance I normally “pay the guy” and have any issues I have resolved commercially. Today it was demonstrated to me that actually, no it’s actually not that hard. Nothing like doing things yourself and saving yourself some money!

So pleased that my local council made these sessions available and I look forward to participating in others when able to.

Details on my council’s OPAL project and Healthy lifestyle program here

Link to Ride A Bike Right (session facilitator)